Did you know that Germany had video telephone service... in 1936?
posted by Nick T. / Aug 04, 2014, 5:33 AM
Video calls – a service that we take for granted today – have been imagined ever since the telephone took off. Visionaries from the late 1800s were confident that in the future, people would be able to both hear and see the person on the other side of the line. Technology, however, still had quite some advancing to do before video telephony could become something more than just a concept. Many years of research were needed until eventually, science fiction became science fact.
The first 2-way videophone service was launched on March 1, 1936 – 78 years ago. It was provided in Germany by the national post office and connected Berlin with Leipzig. Some 100 miles (160 kilometers) of broadband coaxial cable were used to deliver video calls between the two cities. Later on, the service was opened to the public, and additional lines connecting other major cities were added.
Technically, Germany's videophone system was quite impressive of an invention for its time. Video was delivered at 25 frames per second on a cathode ray tube display. Its resolution of 172 rows, which made for a pixel count of about 40,000, is said to have been enough for one to discern the hands on a wristwatch.
The service wasn't cheap, however. A three-minute call was priced at approximately one-fifteenth of the average weekly wage. It wasn't very convenient either. There were a couple of booths installed in each city. To use the videophone service, one had to make an appointment with the post office first. Also, the person they wanted to speak with had to be notified in advance.
Unfortunately, Germany's videophone service didn't last long. Plans for extending the network were abandoned with the start of the Second World War. By 1940, the system was shut down.
Posts: 347; Member since: Nov 16, 2011
Germans were and still are one of the best engineers in the world. They even build a stealth bomber during the 1940s, Horton Ho 29 Stealth Bomber. Kudos to those brainiacs.
posted on Aug 04, 2014, 5:44 AM 11
Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012
Yup. What many also don't (including me, until recently), is that the Americans achieved sooo much in their space program, through NASA, only because of the German scientists they forced to work for them, after their victory in World War II. They used the german V2 rocket design for their space program, as well as their ICBMS (nuke rockets). That and many others.
posted on Aug 04, 2014, 6:02 AM 10
Posts: 494; Member since: Sep 21, 2012
I'm surprised and impressed. 1936 was a big year for Germany (and Jesse Owens). The Berlin Olympics were televised -- a first -- via closed circuit. The use of German scientists by Russian and American governments beginning before WW II ended is well reported. NASA (and atomic testing) doesn't get as much attention as decades ago.
posted on Aug 04, 2014, 6:24 AM 2
Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 2014
They created the first Jetfighter planes and Night-vision for soldiers with assault rifles. And really, the list goes on and on. Google Wunderwaffe and be amazed!
posted on Aug 04, 2014, 7:32 AM 0
Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014
The Germans invented the BEER! Or somewhat popularized it! Thats how important Germany is to me.
posted on Aug 04, 2014, 11:44 AM 1
Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011
Damn you German! You are technological advance, good at soccer, and have really good beers.... Damn you...
posted on Aug 04, 2014, 5:54 AM 11
Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012
Germany and Japan FTW best countrues in the world with the smartest people!
posted on Aug 04, 2014, 6:31 AM 3
Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011
heil to that
posted on Aug 04, 2014, 7:26 AM 2
Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011
As much as I would like to say something pro-German, if iDo, some pathetically bloated water-retaining bus driver with an inferiority complex will cry racism! Therefore, I must defer to the almighty Wotan and say long live 'za Fatherland! Hail!!
posted on Aug 04, 2014, 7:58 AM 2
Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013
"ans for extending the network were abandoned with the start of the Second World War." Yes some bloodthirsty people defend wars as advancing technology. As if creating things to destroy and kill were advances in the right direction.
posted on Aug 04, 2014, 9:49 AM 1
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